Know Your Role: Al Leong
Know Your Role is a new feature designed to shed light on those actors who go above and beyond (in order to stay in the shadows). The actors who continue to go outside of their comfort zones (as little as humanly possible). Men and women who every time you see them on camera, you already know without a shadow of a doubt who they are playing. Here at Bulletproof Action, we salute you Al Leong… for knowing what you are; the best damned Asian man with a Fu Manchu stunt man in Hollywood.
Al Leong is a National Treasure.
Al was born and raised in St. Louis but moved out to California as a teenager. His film career really began when he was working as a grip on a TV set and a producer approached Leong and asked him if he knew martial arts so he could teach some moves to a couple of actors. I picture the producer saying “of course you do” and high-fiving another guy while simultaneously shouting “stereotypes”; but that would be the start of a long and productive career in Hollywood for Al Leong.
His illustrious resume of films he’s worked on is complimented by the amount of A-list action stars who have killed him in various ways over the years. His characters haven’t been the most diverse; thug, henchman, nameless guy, or Asian bodyguard; but Leong has always been a stuntman first and an actor somewhere after that. If nothing else, then Al is the instrument in which all other action stars should be measured. If you haven’t killed Al in a movie, then you haven’t “made” it. Leong has always been a consummate professional and has carefully crafted his “being murdered” techniques to thrive in the 21st century and it is because of that reason that I look forward to seeing Al and his dead carcass on a big screen once again.
Al’s one defining character trait in Die Hard was he liked candy bars….Oscar worthy.
Probably my favorite Leong movie, Big Trouble in Little China.
Probably Leong’s biggest role as Genghis Khan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
A lesser known Dolph Lundgren flick called Dark Angel or I Come In Peace.
“Hey Al, go get killed by Jean Claude Van Damme!” ” Yes Sir!”
A pretty sweet fight scene with Brandon Lee in the amazing Rapid Fire.
Trying to stop Jeff Speakman in The Perfect Weapon…it didn’t work.
A brave choice to play a chauffeur in Action Jackson.
Al attempted to kill Arnold in Last Action Hero. It didn’t go well for him.